Located just 9 miles from Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, N.J., has a long history, having been a farming and mill community that annually grew tons of produce (literally) to supply, among others, the nearby Campbell’s Soup Company. Over the years, its proximity to many large employers in the city of Philadelphia and in Camden County, N.J., encouraged housing developments to sprout from the flat, wide-open farm fields. Like so many suburbs, growth in Cherry Hill skyrocketed after World War II, when returning GIs needed housing. And so Cherry Hill and the surrounding township became one of southern New Jersey’s most populous areas. Today, the township has approximately 72,000 residents, second only to Camden, N.J., in population in the county.
Cherry Hill has the distinction of being the location of the first enclosed shopping mall built in the U.S. Construction on that began in 1960. But before that a few other recreational venues that put Cherry Hill on the map. First, in the 1940s, Garden State Park horse-racing track was built. That, in turn, led to hotels, restaurants and nightclubs, including in 1960 the Latin Casino. This club attracted internationally known musical performers from Frank Sinatra to Liberace to pop-music groups. With the Latin Casino defunct and demolished by the 1980s, and Garden State Park torn down to be redeveloped into a town center, Cherry Hill is a town that strives to improve its built environment and services for residents.
Major employers for area residents include Cambell’s Soup Co. and Cooper University Hospital’s Camden campuses, Subaru of America, Pinnacle Foods and TD Bank U.S. headquarters, and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories, among others.
A big part of Cherry Hill’s advantage is its access to Camden and Philadelphia via New Jersey Transit and the PATCO high-speed line (Woodcrest Station). A 15-minute bus ride connects Cherry Hill and Camden; the bus or train ride to Philadelphia is about 30 minutes. Trenton, N.J., is about a 40-minute drive. Princeton, N.J., is about a one-hour drive.
Home-building began in earnest here in the 1940s, and with the exception of the usual valleys that hit the economy, it didn’t really stop. As a result, there is a very wide variety of housing stock, and happily for buyers, it’s possible to buy a very nice single-family home priced in the $200,000s. Move into the $300,000 to $400,000 range, and you’ll have your choice of a wide variety of homes, from center-hall colonials to contemporaries with open floor plans. In 2016, the bulk of home sales in the Cherry Hill ZIP code were in that range.
Residents can enjoy their choice of 51 parks, some with tennis courts, basketball courts, walking trails, playground equipment, and other amenities. A stunning display of cherry blossoms takes place toward the end of April each year along a two-mile stretch of Chapel Ave. between Haddonfield Rd. and Kings Highway. It is a show not to be missed!